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Interviewing is, for most, a learned skill. As a hiring manager, you need to have a critical eye while at the same time look for the potential that candidates have that will make them effective in their new role. Picking the wrong applicant can sometimes have disastrous results. At the very best, someone who is underqualified or a bad fit will slow down progress and result in your needing to find yet another team member. It’s much better to find high quality candidates on the offset, and hire the type of team members who will help you and your business make progress toward your goals. But learning how to tell one from the other can be difficult. Here are a few tips to set you on the path toward hiring success.

Evaluate for Key Skills and Experience

Every role has certain skills and experience that will make a candidate successful. But keep in mind that what is written in a resume may or may not be the full story. Use an interview as the opportunity to explore whether someone has the skills and experiences that you need for the job. Ask questions that really dig deep into what decisions someone make in past situations. Understanding what candidates bring to the table comes with unpacking their resume and really hearing from them what their skills and abilities are.  

Keep a Critical Eye

Many applicants will appear one way on paper, and come across as completely different in person, so don’t allow the words on the resume be the only deciding factor. In your interview of them, probe deeply into their success stories, and ask questions that will require the candidate to display their knowledge and experience firsthand. Whether or not you were impressed by their qualifications, make sure you interview them with a critical eye. It’s good to be positive minded, but if you fail to identify gaps in knowledge or skill that will be critical to your day to day success, it’s back to the drawing board for you.

Consider Cultural Fit

Cultural fit is a surprisingly important element in a successful job candidate. You want employees who are happy in their new role so they can be productive for the long term. Personality clashes can result in problems that will drag your whole team down. And disharmony in the work styles of different team members can make accomplishing task much more difficult than they need to be.

To see if a candidate is a good cultural fit, ask questions about their work style, their biggest wins and their ideal work environment. Introduce them to team members who can also weigh in on whether they find the candidate to be a good investment. Cultural fit can seem like a nebulous concept, but where the rubber meets the road, it can make all the difference.

Evaluate Yourself As Well As the Candidates

Every interviewer is burdened with their own personal biases and knowledge gaps. That is why you must evaluate yourself as well as the candidates you are interviewing. Do you know enough about the subject to challenge an applicant on their experience or knowledge of a topic? The answer doesn’t have to be yes, but you need to know the answer. You can always call in a colleague for their perspective on a candidate. But don’t allow your pride or your misunderstanding of a concept result in you hiring the wrong person.

For more tips on how to build a strong talent pipeline, connect with the recruiting experts at Williams today.

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